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30 Jul 15. Thales wins £125m Vehicle Sighting Systems contract for UK MoD Scout SV programme. Thales announced the award of a £125m contract for the supply of Sighting Systems and Ancillary Equipment to General Dynamics UK for the Production Phase of the UK MoD’s Specialist Vehicle (SV) programme. Under the terms of the contract, Thales will supply 245 vehicle sets, each consisting of a Primary Sight, Local Situational Awareness (LSA) camera system and Smoke Dispenser, over a 5 year programme between 2016 and 2021, specifically for the Scout variant of the vehicle. Thales will also supply a further 344 sets of their LSA systems for other versions of the vehicle in the same time period.
Both Thales and General Dynamics UK are committed to maximising the long-term operational availability and effectiveness of the Scout SV sighting system for the UK MoD. In harmony with the in-service support contract for the Scout SV fleet recently secured by General Dynamics UK, an initial spares provisioning package is also included within the Thales scope of supply.
All equipment will be built at Thales’ optronics facility in Glasgow, sustaining 40 highly skilled engineering and manufacturing jobs. The skill sets involved in delivering the systems and equipment to General
Dynamics UK range from senior specialist engineers to young apprentices, thereby ensuring Thales’ rich heritage in engineering extends for many years into the future.
The Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said: “This is welcome news for Glasgow and the rest of Scotland. This contract underlines how our engineers continue to excel in providing skills, expertise and support for the Armed Forces activities across the globe.
“The UK’s defence industry is worth billions of pounds and generates economic benefits for communities across Scotland, through jobs, supporting services and – as today’s announcement shows – contracts through the supply chain. Our sighting systems for the Scout SV vehicle will provide the UK MoD with a step change in its vehicle reconnaissance and surveillance capability and will greatly enhance the prospect of mission success and survivability on the battlefield. The contract underlines our position as the UK MoD’s sighting system supplier of choice and is a tribute to the innovation and skill of our employees in Glasgow.” Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales in the UK
30 Jul 15. Northrop Signs Global Hawk Payload Deal with USAF. Northrop Grumman expects to start demonstrating a universal payload adaptor for the RQ-4B Global Hawk with various sensors carried by the Lockheed Martin U-2 after signing a cooperative research and development agreement on 14 July with the US Air Force. The payload adaptor should allow the RQ-4B to carry a variety of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors normally carried by the Lockheed Martin U-2S, specifically the United Technologies Aerospace Systems (UTAS) Optical Bar Camera (OBC) and SYERS-2C. A demonstration is also expected to take place with a UTAS MS-177 mulitspectral sensor. The cooperative research agreement gives Northrop access to government aircraft and sensors to trial the payload adaptor, which was developed internally by the company. The air force told Flightglobal earlier this month that demonstrations with the OBC could start in early budget year 2016, which starts in October, once the agreement is signed. A contract to integrate the MS-177 with the high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle is also expected around that time, and one of the eight operational SYERS-2 sensors will also be made available “for a short period”. Northrop has been pushing its payload adaptor concept since the air force decided to retire the RQ-4 Block 30 in favour of the U-2 in its 2013 budget submission. The service has since changed course, opting to retire th